Quantcast

Safe in the suburbs?

How and why heroin is on the rise, affecting all ages, all communities

Kali Perry, left, of East Syracuse, died from a heroin overdose in November. Above, Kali is pictured with her mother, Melissa Hosier, at Kali’s stepsister’s graduation in June 2013. Hosier spoke out about her daughter’s struggle at the May 7 community forum in Fayetteville. Read her story on page 12.

Kali Perry, left, of East Syracuse, died from a heroin overdose in November. Above, Kali is pictured with her mother, Melissa Hosier, at Kali’s stepsister’s graduation in June 2013. Hosier spoke out about her daughter’s struggle at the May 7 community forum in Fayetteville. Read her story on page 12. Submitted photo

Thirty-four stories on heroin-related incidents have made local news headlines on

In next week’s Messenger, read more on the personal accounts of two young men, one from Baldwinsville and one from Liverpool, who are addicted to heroin.

Syracuse.com alone since 2010. Occurrences are on the rise; this year’s article count is already at 14.

Heroin has made a comeback.

Nearly 100 people gathered May 7 at the East Area YMCA in Fayetteville for a community forum called “Fighting Heroin.” Sponsored by the Y’s Healthy Living program, the meeting was called to address the ever-increasing concerns of heroin addiction and overdose with which Central New York families are currently struggling. A panel comprised of law enforcement officials, physicians, healthcare professionals and one local mom who recently lost her 19-year-old daughter to heroin, all spoke.

“It is an epidemic,” said Maureen Wopperer, an East Area/YMCA board member and Healthy Living committee chair who acted as moderator during the two-hour session. “The national recovery rate for heroin addiction, for opiate addiction, is 5 percent. That’s a very, very small number. This epidemic is affecting people from all walks of life. No matter their education, job status, family, economic status — it’s affecting everybody.”

Heroin seizures have increased 67 percent in the last five years, said Investigator Randy Andrews of the DeWitt Police Department, and in 2011, more than 2,000 New Yorkers died from heroin overdoses. Locally in Onondaga County, two people died in 2010 from heroin-related overdose. In 2013, that number increased to 26.

“Heroin is being used by every age group, every income. This is not a poor drug; this is not a rich drug. This is a non-discriminating drug,” Andrews said. “Between 1995 and 2002, the number of teens in America ages 12 to 17 who used heroin at some point in their lives increased by 300 percent.”

0
Vote on this Story by clicking on the Icon

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment